'Robredo never lost hope in Philippines'

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Aug 21 2012 05:59 PM | Updated as of Aug 22 2012 02:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Until the eve of the fatal plane crash off Masbate, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo never lost hope in his country's future, one of his staff said on Tuesday.

Robredo’s speech writer Salve Duplito told dzMM that Robredo was idealistic and always believed that good governance was attainable.

In her many candid conversations with the secretary, Duplito shared that Robredo always exuded his faith in positive change for the nation.

But Duplito said she can never forget one conversation she had with Robredo.

Aboard a private plane to Iloilo, Duplito said she asked Robredo if he truly believes that good governance is possible.

Full Disclosure Policy reform

Robredo then replied that if the citizens are the ones demanding for good governance, and if a Full Disclosure Policy (FDP) is institutionalized, then reforms will take shape, said Duplito.

“Talagang until the end, he did not lose hope in the Philippines and he was that serious,” she said.

Robredo aggressively pushed for the FDP, which Duplito described as Robredo’s “crown jewel.”

The policy requires local government units to disclose 12 key financial documents in public to reveal how funds are spent.

“I hope people will take notice because I guess this is what he died for. This is the one thing that can change our country,” she said.

Eve of crash

Duplito said the always busy Robredo had a different aura Friday night, the eve of the plane crash that killed him.

“Ang aliwalas ng itsura niya, ang saya saya niya. He was excited to be home to his family. Everyone was going to be home so he was looking forward to that [4-day] weekend,” Duplito said.

Duplito said Robredo was “relaxed” and “was joking around” with the staff, but still gave work-related instructions in between chatter.

“Sometimes kasi, he really thinks a lot about his job. Ang dami niya kasing gustong gawin, laging nagmamadali. Ang dami niyang dreams for the nation, hindi siya tumitigil magtrabaho,” she said.

Duplito, who is also one of the hosts of ANC’s “On The Money,” said she will continue to lobby for the reforms that Robredo started when he was appointed DILG secretary in 2010.

“‘Yung mga advocacy na iniwan niya, even if I’m no longer connected with the DILG, itutuloy ko pa din,” she said.

“Some of my friends, sinasabi nila na, ‘There’s a Jesse Robredo in each of us and we have to make it shine,’” she added.